Takamura VS Miyabi? Help me decide

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10160

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looking to pick up either a Takamura SG2 santoku, or a Miyabi mizu SG2 santoku. Help me decide? Both use SG2 steel and are around the same price. im leaning more towards the miyabi because its much heavier. (226g) vs the takamura which is only 147g. The miyabi also looks so much better to me.

I'm also thinking about the takamura chromax santoku, which isn't sg2 steel.

Pros and cons for each:

Miyabi SG2 Pros: Hammered finish is sexy, heavier.

Takamura SG2 pros: more craftsmanship, better company? more highly rated.

takamura SG2 cons: no hammered finish, extremely light (which i might dislike more and more)

Takamura chromax cons: people say the steel isnt as good as SG2. also prone to rust.

takamura chromax pros: Cheaper, and still highly rated. Hammered finish although not as good looking as the miyabi mizu.

if you have an opinion/recommendation please let me know and include why you think that.
 

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If you want Miyabi I’d highly recommend the Birchwood series - a little oil on the handle and they are gorgeous. Better cutters than the Mizu series in my experience
 

ModRQC

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Aaaaaaah... Takamura my man.

It could be many comparisons and I would advocate both sides of it if I know them or just say my bit on Takamura.

But in this instance, just... Takamura. Which is not perfect. But which is not basically a waste of money neither. Miyabi ain't that bad. But I think it ain't that bad when it's a choice you make wisely for good reasons - which are probably that you'd want a glorified beater.

I'd skip on the SG2s and go Chromax or VG-10 with Tak personally. They ain't that good to pay for the SG2 line - unless again, it's a choice you make later out of trying many and Tak becomes a main driver and you just WANT SG2 steel. And in my opinions, those are many "IF"s.

But anywhere along a J-knife journey Tak is a good purchase. Miyabi... meh.
 

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If you want Miyabi I’d highly recommend the Birchwood series - a little oil on the handle and they are gorgeous. Better cutters than the Mizu series in my experience
they look nice but i cant justify paying 100$ more just for a handle
 

ModRQC

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Try Miyabi "on the cheap" with any remnant of the Zwilling Diplôme series if you will. They're from the same factory and share many of the... aaaah... backwards characteristics.
 

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Try Miyabi "on the cheap" with any remnant of the Zwilling Diplôme series if you will. They're from the same factory and share many of the... aaaah... backwards characteristics.
this one?
doesnt say what steel it is
 

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ModRQC

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can you explain what better grind means and why its important?
Grind is how the geometry of the knife cuts food. Knife could be sharp to shave but poorest cutter ever with a bad grind. And if that then, again, Takamura's grind is WAY better than any Zwilling/Miyabi. F&F no lesser.
 

ModRQC

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See this article from @Larrin , and reflections about how the grind is ultra important with the rubber substrate sharpness test.

 

ModRQC

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And your cutting motion is probably more important than either choice right now. Miyabi/Diplôme are rock chop santokus, high tip and pronounced belly. Takamura is geared more towards push/pull/chopping motion.
 

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And your cutting motion is probably more important than either choice right now. Miyabi/Diplôme are rock chop santokus, high tip and pronounced belly. Takamura is geared more towards push/pull/chopping motion.
the takamura santoku looks like a similar shape though. you cant rock chop it?
 

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You can. I'm talking definite inclination. You see that they are similar, but they are not. All Santokus and Gyutos and else look the same at the beginning as any other Santoku, Gyuto, or else. But if you had pictures to compare profiles side by side you'd be surprised. Diplôme/Miyabi are all curve. Takamura is sure not the flattest Santoku amongst J-knives, but it's a progressive belly coupled to a lower tip. It can rock chop some, but two things: heel won't go very high, and thinness BTE is rather dangerous with forceful rock chopping.

There's nothing wrong with rock chopping if that's what you do, really. But if that's your fav motion, go straight with Miyabi you won't be disappointed if all you own are any lesser priced knives so far. FC-61 is nice, knives are dead solid, and none too thin to be beaten up to hell and back.
 

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It's FC-61 - Zwilling rebrand. Which is 13C26 - AEB-L clone. Same as the first coupla lines from Miyabi before going with their SG2.
im stil not sure what steel that is. is it similar to the chromax? Would you recommend this over the SG2 knives i mentioned?
 

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Anytime...

I have nothing against SG2 per see. But soon you'll want to sharpen your own knives, and SG2 won't be no friendly.

FC-61/13c26/AEB-L are very pure, low carbide SS steels. Chromax is A2 - it's a tool steel, somewhat reactive but no Carbon steel, low alloy and easier still to sharpen to a very keen edge. They are ALL easy to sharpen, and will rock your world against any german SS crap.
 

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looking to pick up either a Takamura SG2 santoku, or a Miyabi mizu SG2 santoku. Help me decide? Both use SG2 steel and are around the same price. im leaning more towards the miyabi because its much heavier. (226g) vs the takamura which is only 147g. The miyabi also looks so much better to me.

I'm also thinking about the takamura chromax santoku, which isn't sg2 steel.

Pros and cons for each:

Miyabi SG2 Pros: Hammered finish is sexy, heavier.

Takamura SG2 pros: more craftsmanship, better company? more highly rated.

takamura SG2 cons: no hammered finish, extremely light (which i might dislike more and more)

Takamura chromax cons: people say the steel isnt as good as SG2. also prone to rust.

takamura chromax pros: Cheaper, and still highly rated. Hammered finish although not as good looking as the miyabi mizu.

if you have an opinion/recommendation please let me know and include why you think that.
Wondering what your reason is for wanting a heavier knife. I personally am not a santoku fan, but I do have a Miyabi VG10 gyuto and a Takamura SG2 gyuto. They are very different knives. The Miyabi is heavier and balanced towards the handle, and the Takamura is much thinner, lighter, more nimble, much sharper, and the balance point is just in front of the handle, which I prefer. I really enjoy the Takamura and reach for it often. But it is delicate and the cladding is soft enough to scratch easily just from touching it with the rough side of a sponge. When I need a stainless knife and I'm not cutting a pumpkin or something with bones or pits, I reach for the Takamura, not the Miyabi. But if rear center of gravity is important to you, the Miyabi may make sense.
 

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See this article from @Larrin , and reflections about how the grind is ultra important with the rubber substrate sharpness test.

is the miyabi mizu grind bad? Do you have any evidence comparing them?
 

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I've had both and I now obviously like Takamura a lot more, but back in 2018 I was very happy with Miyabi Mizu so I think it can probably make you happy as well.
 

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Wondering what your reason is for wanting a heavier knife. I personally am not a santoku fan, but I do have a Miyabi VG10 gyuto and a Takamura SG2 gyuto. They are very different knives. The Miyabi is heavier and balanced towards the handle, and the Takamura is much thinner, lighter, more nimble, much sharper, and the balance point is just in front of the handle, which I prefer. I really enjoy the Takamura and reach for it often. But it is delicate and the cladding is soft enough to scratch easily just from touching it with the rough side of a sponge. When I need a stainless knife and I'm not cutting a pumpkin or something with bones or pits, I reach for the Takamura, not the Miyabi. But if rear center of gravity is important to you, the Miyabi may make sense.
i dont mind if its handle or blade heavy, but i do prefer a little bit of weight to it from what ive experienced. that could change, who knows. the light takamura gyuto i tried out for a little bit almost felt like a chinese knock-off or a toy because of how light it was. it felt almost unsafe because i wasnt as aware of the movements i was making with it
 

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Anytime...

I have nothing against SG2 per see. But soon you'll want to sharpen your own knives, and SG2 won't be no friendly.

FC-61/13c26/AEB-L are very pure, low carbide SS steels. Chromax is A2 - it's a tool steel, somewhat reactive but no Carbon steel, low alloy and easier still to sharpen to a very keen edge. They are ALL easy to sharpen, and will rock your world against any german SS crap.
really, any review ive read about sg2 knives all say theyre easy to sharpen. a few of them said just as easy as their vg10s
 

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I have found my Takamura SG2 to be easy to sharpen, but so far all it has needed is the occasional 2 minute touch up. Seems to hold the edge well. I find VG10 easy to sharpen also, at least to a reasonably sharp edge, but it dulls faster too.
 

ModRQC

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Breakdown:

FC-61/13c26/AEB-L are stainless steels from ingots. Steel was designed to be as close to Carbon steel keeness/ease of sharpening while being stainless. Intended for razor blades. Stainless is barely achieved - they are prone to some very mild oxidation against higher alloyed stainless compositions.

A2 was intended to be efficient with air quenching - it allowed some room to shape big industrial molds or else where sheer bulk/thickness made it difficult to quench the piece with oil, water or else while resisting deformation or uneven hardening causing failure points with steels designed to be rapidly quenched with fluids. It’s reactive because it has barely more than a third the necessary amount of Chromium to have stainless properties - yet compared with Carbon steel like White #2 for example it has very mild reactivity.

SG2 is powder metallurgy. It’s enhanced Stainless steel basically, allowing higher alloys towards wear resistance or other designs while insuring smaller, evenly dispersed carbides improving general toughness and hardening. It’s much more stainless than FC-61. It’s harder too and more difficult to sharpen. Although probably among the easiest PM to sharpen it will still make any newcomer to sharpening miserable enough especially with low cost stones.
 

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Takamura, by A mile 1.6 kilometers. Either R2 or Chromax. I haven’t used Taka VG10 or any good Vg10 (Tanaka, Ryusen, etc) so I can’t comment one way or another on that.

I have nothing against Shun and Miyabi intrinsically but there are better knives available at any of the relevant price points once you know something about knives. Like Starbucks and coffee.

Takamura are, however, laser thin, less than 2mm spine thickness over the whole length. If that’s not your bag you might want to look at something else; if you want a thin blade like that but a heavier feeling knife try a Kogetsu. I just got one right before I had to switch from buying to selling a bunch of things I really didn’t want to; I’ve tried and let go a bunch of lasers but the Kogetsu I became immediately attached to and hope to be able to keep.
 

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IDK how often do you wipe your knife, I wouldn’t be too concerned about the reactivity of the Chromax steel. The Takamura Chromax is pretty much stainless IME with little maintenance, and is easier to sharpen than my R2 knife.
 
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Hz_zzzzzz

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is the miyabi mizu grind bad? Do you have any evidence comparing them?
The Mizu doesn't cut as well as the Takamura because 1. it's thicker behind the edge and 2. it's handle heavy.

1. Being thick behind the edge affects its ability to cut into dense product and makes the sharpening more time consuming. This is usually not tangible for beginners because they are mostly transitioning from knives like Zwilling which are even much thicker behind the edge, and/or they usually don't have much experience in sharpening so they don't know what is easy what is difficult.

2. Being handle heavy makes the knife less nimble especially with pinch grip. It also makes quick chopping a little more difficult because there would be weight center behind your grip when you swing the blade.

Nonetheless, like I replied above, the Mizu could still make one happy. It definitely can cut well enough for meal preparation. It's shiny and well built. And most importantly you like it.
 
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ModRQC

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Don’t look at steels. Nor brands. Nor grind. It’s a matter of confusion.

Rather, look at profiles and handles. Pick one that just seeing it you beg to use it. Don’t pick the one that seems « as nice » but somewhat puts you off, for bad reasons like you’re probably not knowledgeable enough to understand what puts you off. If your first quality knife, it should be one that sings to you. Miyabi can do that and they’ll generally cut nicely enough. Takamura could do that too but for more gentle and nimble use overall. Chromax or FC-61 are a safe bet for new sharpeners.
 

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Breakdown:

FC-61/13c26/AEB-L are stainless steels from ingots. Steel was designed to be as close to Carbon steel keeness/ease of sharpening while being stainless. Intended for razor blades. Stainless is barely achieved - they are prone to some very mild oxidation against higher alloyed stainless compositions.

A2 was intended to be efficient with air quenching - it allowed some room to shape big industrial molds or else where sheer bulk/thickness made it difficult to quench the piece with oil, water or else while resisting deformation or uneven hardening causing failure points with steels designed to be rapidly quenched with fluids. It’s reactive because it has barely more than a third the necessary amount of Chromium to have stainless properties - yet compared with Carbon steel like White #2 for example it has very mild reactivity.

SG2 is powder metallurgy. It’s enhanced Stainless steel basically, allowing higher alloys towards wear resistance or other designs while insuring smaller, evenly dispersed carbides improving general toughness and hardening. It’s much more stainless than FC-61. It’s harder too and more difficult to sharpen. Although probably among the easiest PM to sharpen it will still make any newcomer to sharpening miserable enough especially with low cost stones.
thank you for explaining although im still not sure of the actual difference between them when deciding which one to buy. in other words explaining like im 5
 
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